Can Teens Get SmartLipo or Mesotherapy?

My daughter just turned 17. She has lost 63 lbs over 1 1/2 years and is 5'6 and now weighs 148. She has saggy arms (area below the triceps. She also has extra fat around the abdomen but this doesn't bother her as much. Should we consider smart lipo or mesotherapy?

I'm concerned that she may be too young. Is this procedure safe for 17 yr old girl or should she wait?

Doctor Answers 3

Teenage body contouring after weight loss

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Please please do not get carried away by all the marketing hype that's out there.  I'm a little concerned that you are asking specifically about Smartlipo or mesotherapy because of advertisements you've seen or heard.  Neither of those procedures is likely to be what your 17-year-old daughter needs, given her large amount of weight loss. 

And most of the doctors offering Smartlipo and mesotherapy are NOT plastic surgeons at all--they call themselves "cosmetic surgeons" and are typically OB/GYNs, family medicine doctors, or internal medicine doctors or other non-surgeons who have had only a few weekends of training in liposuction procedures.

Please go with your daughter to see a surgeon who is Certified by the American Board of PLASTIC Surgery (not "cosmetic surgery).  An ABPS Surgeon is a fully trained plastic surgeon, with a full toolbox of options for your daughter, not just a few tricks that some laser company taught him/her. 

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Body contouring procedures need to be matched to the individual patient.

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Body contouring procedures need to be matched to each individual patient.

I applaud your daughter for her weight loss -- she should be very commended for her efforts.  She needs to be seen by a board certified plastic surgeon that offers all options in body contouring including SmartLipo, traditional lipo, and tummy tucks.  This way the opinion you receive from the doctor is really about which procedure is best for your daughter and not just which procedure the physician is able to perform.

Notice my list above does NOT include mesotherapy.  I have yet to meet a board certified plastic surgeon that recommends or (still) performs mesotherapy.  This is a technique that is usually used by non-surgery trained doctors and I have seen absolutely disastrous results.  Most doctors that perform mesotherapy don't perform lipo and absolutely don't perform tummy tucks.  Therefore if you see that particular doctor then of course they will recommend mesotherapy, because they don't offer any other solutions.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 299 reviews

Liposuction or mesotherapy in 17 year olds

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Most plastic surgeons (including myself) prefer to operate on patients who are at least 18 years old. This is not absolute, however. If a 17 year old is mature and the problem is significant, then I would consider it. Having said that, it sounds like your daughter may need more than mesotherapy or liposuction. A 63 lb weight loss over 18 months in someone who is 5'6" tall is rather significant. Although I haven't examined her, it sounds like she may also need a skin excision due to laxity. Mesotherapy or liposuction is not a great treatment option if there is any element of skin laxity. Make an appointment with a local plastic surgeon and hear what he/she has to say! Good luck.

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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